We take a look at Cmune's ambitious 'MMO-FPS'
Back when ÜberStrike was released as Paradise Paintball, 3D Facebook applications were cutting edge, and it found favour with an army of fans.
Years later, summer 2011 has almost gone, and ÜberStrike has just been made available as a native client on the Map App Store. The long established ‘MMO-FPS’ shows no sign of stopping, and at its core is the Unity engine.
“A few years ago when we set out to evaluate the 3D engine we would eventually build ÜberStrike with, Unity was very much in its infancy,” says Shaun Lelacheur-Sales, CTO and co-founder of developer Cmune.
“However it still stood out amongst its competition for a few reasons; an IDE that was easy to quickly prototype in but powerful enough for real world production, a solid browser plugin, and a team that we knew were going somewhere.”
Lelacheur-Sales and his colleagues were also taken by Unity for its support for game scripting on Mono, the open-source implementation of the .NET Framework.
“We could take our experience, leverage the existing .Net community and mix front-end and back-end codebase,” explains the Cmune CTO. “One of our platform engineers learnt the basics of Unity and wrote an end-to-end secure binary serialisation and messaging protocol. That Unity covers multiple target platforms is an advantage. We couple our browser-based version of ÜberStrike with a downloadable HD client and our players love it.”
In fact, Cmune are now considering taking the game to mobile using Unity, in part because they can so easily use their existing codebase to do so.
Of course, from the outset, crafting a relatively ambitious title like ÜberStrike was a challenge, and defining the experience from gameplay, art and sound perspective meant Cmune had to align the efforts of its teams as closely as possible.
“Unity made that a lot easier,” reveals Lelacheur-Sales. “The fact that we just work on Mac and PC in the browser, can build high quality downloadable clients and easily port to mobile, I think it's pretty obvious. Also, if you're not familiar with Unity, the amount of new features that the guys pack into each release and the licensing model are great.
OUTSIDE THE BOX
Unity has also proved useful for a team making a game that, not being boxed product, means the real work for the dev team starts after the initial release. ÜberStrike’s updates have been plentiful and significant, bolstered by the engine’s applicability to the browser and app space.
“We monetise using a free-to-play model which makes new features and content paramount to our success,” explains Lelacheur-Sales. “We release a new version of ÜberStrike every month or so across all channels and Unity just works.
Clearly the ÜberStrike team are fans, and it looks like the relationship between Unity and Cmune is set to last and last.